Thursday, March 23, 2006

Slow on the Draw

If the build-up to tonight's tie was tense, then we now have a ridiculous three weeks to wait for what is now Charlton's new 'biggest game for years.' What happened to the good old days when ties were replayed just days later? They went the same way as Saturday Cup games I guess.

The game tonight simmered below the surface and threatened to explode fully into life, but in the end both defences ensured a fair result. Fans demanded at the very least an honest performance, and they certainly got one, but most of us are well-aware that we lack a little quality in the final third and it showed again.

The atmosphere was decent, albeit not electric, and towards the end it seemed to bounce from excitement to fear with every transfer of possession. It was good to see Curbs display some cavalier intent by substituting the ineffective Kish for Rommedahl, sensing perhaps that our best chance of winning the tie probably lay here at the Valley. Having said that, Boro's fixture congestion and a likely soporific Riverside atmosphere on Apr 12th could play into our hands.

Hreidarsson, Perry and Powell in particular were rock solid, though on the other flank my man-of-the-match Stewart Downing gave Young plenty to worry about all evening. Our best chance of course fell to the Herminator himself and the photo above shows he was denied only by a truly world-class instinctive save. We huffed and puffed throughout, with Thomas at the forefront of much of our best attacking forays, but the ball wouldn't quite fall 'right' in their box, and from my point of view at least, with Viduka displaying plenty of late tricks, I was not displeased to hear the referee's final whistle.

Anyhow we find ourselves in an FA Cup semi-final draw for the first time since 1947, with a very clear hierarchy of desired draws. Clearly the thought of a Chelsea semi will not exactly fill many fans with much excitement, whilst an East London/South-East London tie would offer both our best chance of a final berth, as well as without doubt the best atmosphere.

It remains to be seen if the club will provide some forms of subsidised travel to 'Boro but it is to be hoped we can provide at least a reasonable fraction of the support the vociferous Hammers fans provided for their side at Man City (and perhaps ensure a similar result).


At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Noel said...

Downing!...I hardly noticed him in the 1st half. Our own JT made a far more influential contribution surely...

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous valley vic said...

I too hope the club provide subsidised travel. It would be fantastic to get two whole coachloads up there.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger New York Addick said...

Downing kept switching wings - I thought he looked excellent.


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